My cat Skippy is the epitome of the “curious cat.”  His antics, while amusing, are also cause for concern at times.  You see, Skippy especially loves to run out side every time he sees the door opened.  That might not sound like such a bad thing, but we live in an area where coyotes abound and everyone who knows anything about the wily creatures knows they consider felines a great delicacy.  Skippy is quite smart and quick on his feet, but he would be no match for a coyote!  Thus my decision to keep him inside where he is safe.

Before you start feeling sorry for Skippy being confined to the house, let me assure you he is afforded just about every luxury his little kitty-mind could imagine.  He has well over 3,000 sq. feet of living space to explore, lots of toys to play with, another cat and dog friend readily available for his amusement … and three humans at his beck and call whenever he feels the need for a cuddle or a good scratch behind his ears.

Nine out of ten cats agree; Skippy pretty much has it made as far as the “good life” goes.   Skippy, on the other hand (or paw, as the case may be) still can’t resist the lore of the outdoors and manages to escape quite often.

Luckily for him, we humans who share his abode normally use the garage door when we come and go.  That means, when the door opens and Skippy escapes, he can’t usually go any farther than the garage area.

So, several times a week Skippy bolts through the door that opens from the kitchen into the garage.  We sigh and simply shut the door behind him, knowing that eventually he’ll grow weary of exploring the area and yowl, as only a Siamese cat can, to be let back in.

Inevitably, upon seeing us open the door to allow his re-entry, he looks up as if to say, “Why in the world did you put me out there?”

Silly cat!  He seems to forget that it was his decision to go out the door to begin with.  If it were up to us, he would never go through any door leading to the dangers of the outside world.

We humans can be a lot like Skippy. Tempted by the unknown that lies outside our realm of safety, we bolt through opened doors, only to find ourselves lost and in danger. God provides for our every need and yet we can’t resist the lure of the unknown that lies beyond our given boundaries.    If we are wise, we will eventually realize the error of our ways and cry out to be let back inside, where we are safe.

Then, once we are rescued, we tend to look at the God and ask, “Why did YOU put me out there?”

All along, we know it was not God who put us there at all. We went on our own accord, then blamed Him when things didn’t work out as we imagined.

If only we would realize.  Not every door that opens is meant to be passed through.  Some doors lead us into blessings, protection, and God-given destiny, while others only offer access to danger, even death, or at the very least, unnecessary distraction and the wasting of our precious time.

Thankfully, God not only gives us freedom to choose what doors we pass through, but He also offers rescue and forgiveness for the asking, when we make the wrong choices.

Choose your doors wisely, and remember, God’s plan for you is good!

 

Becky J. Taylor

Bold New Day! LLC

http://www.boldnewday.com

 

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What’s Stopping You?

January 5, 2011

“Go! What’s stopping you?” is the slogan used by a major airline here in the U.S.  While this question is written to inspire people to fly with their particular company, it provides good food for thought for us all.

What’s stopping you from living the life you know you could be living?  What keeps you from chasing (and catching) your dreams?

Fear of failure?

Lack of belief in yourself?

The poor economy?

Most of us could legitimately claim at least one reason for not whole-heartedly pursuing our dreams, but if we allow those things to hold us back, we will eventually be left with nothing but a long list of “what could have been.”

As the airline motto implies, it’s time to leave all excuses behind and start moving forward in the direction of your dreams. Start now!   Instead of focusing on the reasons why you can’t, make a list of all the reasons you should and can, and redirect your thoughts toward those instead.

At first, this may take some conscious effort on your part, but aren’t your dreams worth it?

STOP complaining and rationalizing away your success.

GO in the direction of your dreams!

And don’t give up until you see those dreams come true!

God Bless!

Coach Becky J. Taylor

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.boldnewday.com

Follow Your Passion!  Pursue Your Purpose!

Become the Person You Know You Were Born to Be!

 

Coach Becky J. Taylor (Bold New Day! LLC) specializes in Personal Development Coaching for Women, based on Christian principles. She is available  for personal coaching, group coaching, face to face or phone coaching sessions, speaking engagements, women’s events, and workshops anywhere in the continental United States. http://www.boldnewday.com

How Not to Fail in 2011!

December 27, 2010

It’s that time of year again!  Time to think about the New Year and make those dreaded resolutions everyone talks so much about.

Statistics indicate that most resolutions get dropped within a few weeks of being set.  In other words, the odds appear to be stacked against you from the get-go.

Well, let me assure you, that doesn’t have to be the case!  You and your resolutions can be the exception to this unwritten rule.

“How?”

I’m glad you asked!

Here are a few tips to help you succeed in 2011!

1. Keep It Real (But Dream Big!)

Often the reason we fail to meet our goals is that we set them too high.  Our plans look great on paper, but in reality they just don’t work.  It’s easy to become overwhelmed if your goal is realistically unattainable. I believe this is the reason most people drop their resolutions so quickly.  They look at that big mountain of goals they’ve built for themselves … and feel inadequate to conquer it, so they don’t really even try.

Now, I am the last person on earth who will tell you something can’t be done.  Those who know me at all, also know I insist on reaching for the stars … and have every intention of grasping them!  However, reaching some goals takes longer than others. For example, you may want to lose 150 lbs but it might be nearly impossible (not to mention physically unhealthy) for you to lose that much in one year.

Instead of saying “I want to lose 150 lbs in 2011”, say “I want to lose 150 lbs and I will begin by losing 1-2 lbs a week in 2011.”

That doesn’t sound nearly as overwhelming as losing 150 lbs, now does it?

2. Prioritize!

How badly do you want to reach your goals?  Which ones are most important to you?  Sit down and brainstorm.  List everything you want to do/change in the coming year.  Spend some time thinking about everything on your list.  What is most pressing? Which items matter the most in the scheme of things?  Most importantly, “Why do you want to reach each particular goal?Inspiration is critical.  If you don’t have a good “why?” you may not stay motivated enough to push through.

Narrow your list down to no more than five or six goals for the New Year.

3. Be specific!

Say, “I will lose 1-2 lbs a week in 2011”   (I’m using weight loss as an example because that is one of the most common resolutions.)  Apply this approach to each goal on your list.

4. Make a plan!

Don’t just say you will, decide how you will!  Write your plan down and implement it.

“I will  join the gym.”

“I will hire a personal trainer.”

“I will throw all the unhealthy food in my pantry away and replace it with more healthy choices.”

or even, “I will talk to the doctor about weight loss surgery.”

You can wish, hope, and dream as much as you want, but without putting action behind those wishes, hopes, and dreams, chances are nothing will change!

5. Make a friend!

Connect with others who share similar goals. Any task will be made much simpler when you have someone to talk too, laugh with, cry with and of course celebrate with!  Remember, friendship is a two way street … be ready and willing to offer the same support to your friends!

6. Be accountable!

Accountability is key!  Your friend can be very helpful in this area, but you might also want to consider hiring a professional coach to help hold you accountable. You’ll be much more likely to stay focused if you know someone else is going to be keeping track of what you do (or do not) accomplish each week.

7. Be Committed!

Commit to your resolutions!  Focus on them every day.  Don’t give in to temptations to toss them aside.  If you slip and fall, don’t stay down!  Don’t kick yourself in the pants for “failing.” Get back up and start over again … and again … and again if you must!

The only way to fail is to stop trying!

I hope this article encourages you today, and in the days to come.  Here’s to your very successful 2011, from “Bold New Day! LLC”

Be blessed!

Coach Becky J. Taylor

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.boldnewday.com

Follow Your Passion!  Pursue Your Purpose!

Become the Person You Know You Were Born to Be!

Coach Becky J. Taylor specializes in Personal Development Coaching for Women, based on Christian principles. She is available for personal coaching, group coaching, face to face or phone coaching sessions, speaking engagements, women’s events, and workshops. http://www.boldnewday.com

 

Sailing Into Sunshine

July 28, 2010

While enjoying a Caribbean cruise a few years back, our family was particularly looking forward to spending a day on one of the islands owned by the cruise line, when the Captain made an announcement.

“This is your Captain speaking” the voice over the loud speaker boomed, “As you know, we are scheduled to anchor on the island tomorrow, but heavy storms are being forecasted for that area.  Do not be concerned.  If we can’t spend the day on the island, we will sail around until we find the sunshine.”

I appreciated the Captain’s optimism and have thought of that comment many times since that day.

“We will sail around until we find the sunshine.”

Sometimes it seems our lives are just one big storm after another.  We barely catch our breath after one squall  before the next wave hits.

It can be exhausting.

It’s also easy to forget that somewhere the sun is shining when in our little corner of the world there is nothing but dark clouds, high winds, and lightning strikes all around!

But … our Captain always knows exactly where we are on the radar screen.  He also knows where the sunshine can be found and you can bet, he is sailing us into the sunshine. Just hold on and trust him!

As much as I’d like to believe it’s God’s will that we never encounter storms in life, I know better.  Even storms serve a purpose in the scheme of things.  Our human minds can’t comprehend the vast expanse of the universe.  We’re usually so wrapped up in our efforts to preserve our own interests, we fail to notice what’s happening on a grander scale.

We certainly don’t like to think the “grander scale” is more important than our bout of bad weather. The painful reality is, our little bout of bad weather is part of that grander scale… and so it is important!

I’m hearing the collective “groan” of several of you right now.

“We want the sunshine, we don’t want the storm!”

Don’t abandon ship!

You must keep moving through the storm. You will find the sun waiting on the other side.

God bless!

Becky J. Taylor

July 28, 2010

Bold New Day! LLC

Personal Development Coaching for Women

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

http://www.boldnewday.com

The Race Is On

July 25, 2010

A couple months ago I mentioned that I was writing a book.  My goal was to have it ready to publish by my birthday, which is now less than three weeks away.  Barring a miracle, that isn’t going to happen.  That’s what “deadlines” are for though, right?  Like rules, they were made to be tested.

My book was off to a good start.  Words continued to pour from my thoughts, through my fingers and onto the computer screen with ease for several weeks.   Then, BOOM!   Suddenly nothing I wrote made sense.   The flow turned into a trickle and then to a complete halt much like gridlock on the interstate leading to Atlanta.  I can see my destination, but I am helpless to get there at this point.

The world, which is my life, has been in a tailspin that’s lasted nearly two years now.  I thought things were beginning to settle out, but they’re not.  If anything, it’s getting worse.  This is possibly because I am so tired of it all.  I feel like running away … quitting … giving up.

Like that is an option.

Which brings me back to the topic at hand … my book.

I’ve chosen “Finishing Strong, A Woman’s Guide to a Race Well Run” as the title.  My inspiration (for lack of a better word) has been the events of my life, and those of so many other women I know. I wanted to do something positive with all the negative circumstances that I and others have been experiencing.  There is a lesson to be gleaned from all this, I just know it!  The trick is to figure out exactly what that lesson is so we can all stop spinning our wheels and move forward again.

It’s occurred to me that virtually everything I’ve been writing in the book is being tested.  Every word of encouragement, every theory I’ve suggested concerning what the “race of life” is all about, all hope I’ve dared to offer has been and continues to be challenged.  I look back over the chapters now and ask myself if I even really believe my own statements.

Here I am, telling women that life is a race of faith.  A race we cannot lose as long as we do not give up.  And here I sit myself, wanting to rip the book to shreds because I am sick and tired of running.  Forget finishing strong!  I just  … want … to … be … FINISHED!

Maybe I just had to come to this point in order to believe what I am trying so hard to convey to everyone else.  Even in my current state of weariness, I still have that underlying, nagging sense of optimism that things surely have to get better from here on in.  But I also have to admit, my thoughts have been leaning more toward the notion that it no law says it has to get better at all.  What if this is truly as good as it gets?

I’m asking myself if I can live with that possibility and frankly, I don’t know right now.

I suppose it’s also possible that I am finally figuring out what faith is all about.  “Faith” isn’t really faith at all if one can see, touch, feel whatever it is they’re hoping for.

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” (NIV)

Perhaps I should be encouraged.  One thing is for certain, I cannot see anything I’ve been hoping for at this point in time.  Yet, I am still here.

Down for the moment?  Maybe … but I’m still here.

Licking my wounds on the sidelines? Probably … but I’m still here.

Too tired to run anymore? Oh yes! …  but I’m still here.

So, the book may be a little later in coming than I first believed, but I will finish it soon just as surely as I will eventually catch my breath, lace up my track shoes and continue my own pursuit of the prize that awaits at the end of my race.

I’ll see you at the finish line, my friend!  

July 25, 2010

Becky J. Taylor

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com

I grew up in small town Appalachia.  By “small”, I mean there were only about a thousand of us or so and every one of those thousand or so people knew everything about everybody at any given time.

“Gossip” er, I mean “News” was shared with neighbors over the back fence or via party lines. (In case you were born after the 60’s I should explain that “party lines” were common phone lines shared by several different families in the same neighborhood.)

Back in the day, most people never moved far from where they were born.  They lived, worked, died, and were buried within a 10 mile radius of their home town.

While living in such a small town had it’s disadvantages, there were also many advantages to be enjoyed.  We could trust our neighbors and count on them to look out for us.  We never had to lock our doors.  We always knew when someone in our extended family got married, had a baby, fell ill, or lost a job.

We could call on them (or if they shared our party line, just pick up the phone and interrupt their conversations if necessary) any time, night or day and they’d come running.

Personally, I believe people miss the days when they could satisfy their need for human interaction simply by going outside and chatting with the neighbors over the back fence for a while.  When back fences and party lines disappeared, they created a void that people have been trying to fill ever since.

And I believe this explains why social media is so popular today.

Even those who never knew anything about back fences and party lines, or lived anywhere within driving (much less yelling) distance of Grandma and Grandpa; even if we never sat at Aunt Millie’s dinner table and ate oatmeal cookies or enjoyed the sense of family a small town provides, we still enjoy human interaction.  We still need to feel like someone cares about even our most mundane concerns.

Yes, we need each other whether we like to admit it or not.

Social media sites give us access to our distant relatives, elementary school friends and even new friends with the click of a mouse.

What’s more, these sites never close.  Twenty four-seven, there is always someone online with whom to exchange a laugh or share a story. There’s never a lack of videos to laugh at, quotes to make us think, and great gossip, (I’m sorry, I meant “news”) to be found, thanks to the availability of cyber-space.

Social media has made our world very small again, just like it use to be when I was a kid.   No matter how big the city we come from, I’m convinced there is a need for folklore in each of us.  Social media makes it possible for each of us to experience the joys of small town living, even if we’re all alone in the middle of nowhere.

Becky Taylor

July 14,2010

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

(“Small Town” by John Mellencamp.  Enjoy!)

Fairchild Blue

July 6, 2010

At our annual family reunion this past weekend, my son Adam commented ” At least 80% of the people here have blue eyes.”

I responded, “Of course they do!  They’re all Fairchild-ren!”

Adam’s comment took me by surprise.  I’ve always told him his eyes were “Fairchild blue” and I thought he understood.  At least he seemed to be listening.

Apparently hearing is not an equal substitute for experiencing something for oneself.

Before this weekend, Adam hadn’t been to a Fairchild reunion for several years.  We moved away from Ohio when he was nine years old and even before that, I hadn’t taken him to many Fairchild get-togethers.

My bad!  Obviously I’ve done my son an injustice by not involving him more in his extended family.

Yes, I’ve told him he is a descendant of the Fairchilds.

I’ve mentioned many times that his tall, lean stature is a Fairchild trait.

Most of all, I’ve often referred to his eye color as being “Fairchild blue.”

But until Adam experienced it for himself, I don’t think he had a full sense of appreciation and belonging as a “Fairchild.”

Now he’s seen it for himself.  His eyes are Fairchild blue.  He is tall and lean like many of my male cousins he saw at the reunion.

Suddenly he feels a deeper family connection than he once believed to be true.  He’s experienced that side of the family’s roots for himself.

He knows more about where he came from, and who he really is than ever before!

Do you know who you are?

(It’s easier to take it for granted than one might think. )

You are a child of God.

You were created in his image.  This means that when God looks at you, he sees himself.

He sees his eyes.

He sees his hands.

When you talk, he hears his voice!

Wow!

Perhaps you don’t believe me.  Maybe you don’t feel much like a child of God.

It’s possible you don’t even act like one of his distant relatives.

If not, it’s probably only because you need reminding of who you truly are.

Reconnect with your roots today.  Take some time to talk to your Father and refresh your relationship with him.

By getting to know him, you’ll gain a better appreciation of who you are than you’ve ever had before.

God bless!

Becky Taylor

July 6,2010

http://www.boldnewday.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.com

http://www.beckyjtaylor.webs.com